Driving is an integral part of our daily activities. We drive our kids to school, our spouse to their destination, and ourselves to work. Then when the day comes to an end, we drive ourselves home or wherever we wish to cap our day.
Ideally, we should be well-rested when we drive. It is an activity that requires our focus and engages most of our senses. However, most of us drive, even when we are tired from work or haven’t slept well the other night. Some also drive after a few drinks.
Reckless driving is a serious offense in the state of Michigan, and the rest of the US. Reckless driving is the state where the driver displays utter disregard of traffic laws and sensible driving. It can result in crashes, property damage, injuries, or death.
Michigan Laws on Reckless Driving
The Michigan Vehicle Code describes a reckless driver as “a person who operates a vehicle upon a highway or a frozen public lake, stream, or pond, or other places open to the general public, including but not limited to, an area designated for the parking of motor vehicles, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
The consequences of reckless driving in Michigan depend on several factors. Speed, property damage, resulting injuries, and the place of the accident can affect the severity of the punishment. Reckless driving in Michigan is usually considered as a class 1 misdemeanor. Reckless driving that resulted in serious physical injuries and casualties, however, is regarded as a felony.
General Penalties for Reckless Driving in Michigan
The consequences of reckless driving in Michigan can be generally classified as follows:
- Standard Reckless Driving. Most of the time, reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor in Michigan. Motorists charged with a misdemeanor are punishable with 93 days jail time, or a fine of $500, or both.
- Reckless Driving Resulting in Serious Injuries. A reckless driver who causes serious physical injuries to another is charged with a felony. It is punishable by five years in prison, or a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, or both.
- Reckless Driving Resulting in Death. A reckless driver who causes the death of another is guilty of a felony. It is punishable with fifteen years in prison, or a fine of $2,500 to $10,000, or both.
Anyone guilty of reckless driving will also have their license suspended for 90 days. It also entails six demerit points on the convicted person’s driving record, which can result in costly insurance rates.
Six points are usually deducted for manslaughter or other felony committed while operating a vehicle. Driving under the influence of drugs and driving under the influence of alcohol also earns the erring driver a six-point demerit.
What is Careless Driving?
Another driving offense in Michigan is known as careless driving. It means driving in a careless manner that is likely to endanger other people or property. However, it is not through reckless or wanton behavior.
The line differentiating reckless and careless driving is not that clear. Reckless driving is considered more dangerous, whereas careless driving can be considered as merely bad driving. Careless driving is not a crime but a civil offense. Motorists guilty of careless driving are fined and are deducted three points from their driving record.
What does Wet Reckless Driving mean?
It is possible for a Michigan driver charged with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) to make a plea for a lesser charge. One can instead be charged with reckless driving, which is then called “wet reckless.” This arrangement is not very common, so a driver charged with DUI should not have his hopes high on this bargain.
How a Michigan Criminal Attorney Can Help You
If you get charged with reckless driving, then you must call a Lansing criminal lawyer right away. A reckless driving investigation is a stressful experience. An experienced and reputable Michigan lawyer can help make the legal process more bearable. Your lawyer can help explain the laws applicable to your situation and the options that you have.
Contact The Clark Law Office for any Driving Related Case
The Clark Law Office has served the people of Michigan for many years. We provide the best legal service in Michigan that everyone deserves. Call us to schedule an initial consultation.